Wouter Verdurmen, theme Nanomedicine and Peter van der Kraan, theme Inflammatory diseases, in a consortium together with Séverine Le Gac (University of Twente), four companies (Fluigent, BEOnChip, Mercurna and Predica Diagnostics) and societal partners (Proefdiervrij and ReumaNederland) have been awarded with a grant of 820k Euro by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO-OTP, Open Technology Programme) to develop and employ innovative organ-on-a-chip models to investigate fibrotic diseases, with a particular focus on systemic sclerosis.
In the research project entitled FibOoC (Fibrosis-Organ-on-a-Chip), the team will develop organ-on-a-chip models to study fibrosis and investigate novel candidate therapies. The research will be a collaboration with the clinic (Madelon Vonk, Dept. of Rheumatology) and make use of patient-derived materials to develop all-human testing systems as an alternative to animal models in the study of fibrotic diseases.
The project builds upon an earlier TURBO grant awarded to Wouter Verdurmen, Roland Brock, and Séverine Le Gac in which the team developed a new approach to implement hypoxic culture conditions in an organ-on-a-chip model, yet for cancer research. In the devices that will be developed, it will additionally be possible to expose tissues to mechanical forces.